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APPLYING FOR GRANTS


In the second part of our feature on applying for grants, fundraising consultant John Ellery and experts from Funding Central share their advice on completing an application successfully, getting it noticed, and how to avoid some common mistakes.


GRANT FUNDRAISING T


he biggest misconception about applying for grants, is that it is complicated and time- consuming. Think about the


time, effort and stress that goes into organising your Christmas fair and suddenly, applying for a grant seems like a doddle! In part one of our grant fundraising


feature, we looked at the information you need in place before you start,  trusts, and who should lead the application. In part two, we help make sure your application gets the attention (and results) it deserves!


We don’t seem to meet the criteria for any grants, what can we do? Whilst it may seem that there are very few funders who will consider applications from schools or PTAs, this isn’t the case. You simply need to do more research! Finding suitable funders can be time-consuming, but there are some effective ways of locating the most suitable sources. Many schools and PTAs sign up


to receive free e-newsletters such as those provided by Funding Central and Ellery Consulting, while other schools pay to subscribe to websites such as Grants 4 Schools (£99 + VAT per year) and specialist publications. Another approach is to look for news of other schools that have received grants for similar projects, then research those more thoroughly.


CASE STUDY – MULTIPLE GRANT SUCCESS


              


              


We’ve identified suitable trusts, what now? Review the grant guidelines to make sure you and your project are eligible, and visit the funder’s website, reviewing any case studies and details of previous grant recipients. By looking at previous grants a funder has awarded, you can ascertain the type of projects they tend to support. Additionally, make a note of the amounts given. Many grant programmes might say they fund up to, for example, £15,000 however if 90% of their grants in the last year were below £5,000, you will increase your chances of success by applying for a similar amount. Funding Central advises, ‘When applying for a grant, you will need


to explain clearly and concisely to a potential funder why you need funding and what you plan to do with it. Building and maintaining a “case for support” is central for any organisation seeking funding and underpins your fundraising efforts. Your case for support should


identify and specify your desired outcomes. Primary outcomes are  users. Secondary outcomes are the effects your project will have on other people, such as school staff or members of the local community. Hard outcomes are changes that are easy to identify, such as children learning to swim; while soft outcomes are less tangible, such as 


pta.co.uk AUTUMN 2014 49


PART TWO





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